Open Container Initiative plans open container format

Let's hope it's more successful than the open virtualisation format

The Open Container Initiative (OCI) has started work on open container Image Format spec.

The OCI's hope is to create a format that will “enable users to package and sign their application, then run it in any container runtime environment of their choice”. Combined with the group's Runtime Spec, the goal is to end up with a situation in which containers that follow the rules can run in just about any container-aware environment.

Stirring stuff, because nobody likes lock-in.

Over in the virtualisation world, however, the Open Virtualisation Format (OVF) has for years been a nice-to-have rather than a wheel-greaser for the virtualisation ecosystem. Oracle only got around to supporting OVF last March, while the last time an OVF revision came along Gartner said it sees “virtually no interest from enterprises”.

The container ecosystem is a little more complex than the world of virtualisation, so perhaps the OCI's efforts will find fertile ground as organisations ponder cloud-spanning microservices that spawn bits of code all over the place. At the very least, we'll all be able to blame ourselves if we end up locked in. ®


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